Since the last newsletter there have been delays in making progress. Unfortunately Edwina Hart, the Minister with whom we had made significant progress, retired at the Assembly elections last year and we have had to go over much ground again with the new Minister and his senior staff. It has often taken a long time, and reminders, to receive replies to correspondence seeking information.
Over the last two years we have put a lot of effort into looking at the ways in which Carno stops could be fitted into the timetable with minimal disruption to stops at other stations and to overall journey times. There are several options:-
- Only the original 2-hourly trains to stop at Carno; a similar situation to some stations on the Manchester/Holyhead to Cardiff line.
- As above plus some of the extra trains currently running
The introduction of Carno stops would result in a slight reduction of the current extended stops made by trains at Shrewsbury station. We have produced several draft timetables and submitted them to Welsh Government officers for consideration. In practice these need to be reviewed by Network Rail and Arriva Trains Wales and we have asked the WG officers to facilitate this. The situation is complicated by the forthcoming franchising round, when companies will bid to run the rail services in Wales from 2018 onwards.
We have shown that there is a strong business case for the station and that there is a great local need for it. That is not disputed.
WHAT WE ARE DOING
We continue to press the Welsh Assembly Government for responses to our requests with the help of our very supportive local and regional AMs and we can assure WG that we will not go away. We are also arranging meetings with the companies involved in the franchise bidding.
WHAT WE WOULD LIKE YOU TO DO
We are holding a drop-in session for residents and invite you to come to discuss the station proposal and find out more about what we are doing.